December 2016: Philharmonia Orchestra appoints Helen Sprott as Managing Director

23 December 2016


The Philharmonia Orchestra is delighted to announce that Helen Sprott is to be the Orchestra’s new Managing Director. Helen moves to the Philharmonia from Arts Council England, where she has been Director of Music and has worked since 2005.

Helen will take up the post in April 2017 as the permanent replacement for David Whelton, who retired in August 2016 after 29 years with the Orchestra, and takes over directly from Interim Managing Director Alistair Mackie. 

Helen Sprott said: “I have been a fan of the Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen since my student days. The Philharmonia is one of the world's great orchestras, generating extraordinary passion and loyalty among its followers, and it is a real privilege to be appointed Managing Director. 

“My ambition is to support these wonderful musicians to reach new audiences across the world, whether virtually or through live concerts, so that as many people as possible see and hear the Philharmonia, and experience the incredible work of this Orchestra.”

Kira Doherty, Chair of the Philharmonia Orchestra, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Helen to the Philharmonia. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience as well as a deep love of music and respect for the Orchestra. We very much look forward to working together.”

Esa-Pekka Salonen, Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor said: "It is great news for the Philharmonia that Helen will be the new Managing Director. She has tremendous passion for our art form, and will bring her considerable energy and expertise to the role. I look forward to working with her and the exciting times ahead.”

Prior to joining Arts Council England, Helen Sprott was Commissioning Editor for Music and Performing Arts with Channel 4 Television, a music specialist on BBC 2’s The Late Show, and Commissioning Editor, Music Books, with the publisher Faber and Faber. She trained as a cellist and graduated with a BA (Hons) in English Language and Literature from University College, London.